New report urges stamp duty discounts and property-linked financing models
A group of bankers has called on the government to do more to support the financing of energy efficient retrofits for UK homes.
According to a report commissioned by Bankers for Net Zero, a new policy framework including property -inked finance and stamp duty-based incentives is needed to unlock private finance.
The report, developed with WPI Economics, comes weeks after the government announced its ECO+ scheme, which offers grants to households in council tax bands A to D for loft and cavity wall insulation.
But the group found a more comprehensive package could be developed by working with banks, local authorities and tradespeople to create a new policy framework.
Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which sponsored the report, said banks could play “a critical role in the supply of finance” for retrofit, but that it required “a holistic approach, tied to key moments like home improvements and moving house”.
He added: “Beyond financial incentives, there is a need for skilled expertise as well as consumer education and advice about the right choices, guarantees of good works, and improvements to EPC ratings.”
Enabling property-linked finance would help address situations where the payback period is currently longer than likely tenancy, while stamp duty discounts for households that will use the money saved to insulate their homes could further incentivise private retrofit.
The report estimated potential savings of £555 per year in household energy bills and highlighted successful trials and local case studies such as Greater Manchester’s property linked finance trial, West Midlands Combined Authority’s Net Zero Neighbourhoods programme, Cosy Homes Oxfordshire retrofit service and Bristol City Council’s LEAP Initiative.
It urged that the forthcoming Energy Efficiency Taskforce, announced in last month’s autumn statement, take on its recommendations.